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Wandsworth Council is currently consulting residents on their plans to “de-designate” the Garratt Park Children’s Centre in Earlsfield.
 
Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, said: “We know how important free early years support is both for children’s development and in terms of the support it provides to parents, so I am very concerned that the Council is considering leaving Earlsfield without any free provision for children under three”.
 
Currently, the Garratt Park site is home to a nursery group in the morning and in the afternoon it offers parents free stay and play facilities for babies and young children. The Centre also offers free outreach to families needing extra support on the Henry Prince Estate.
 
The Council’s current proposals are to continue with the nursery provision in the morning but to consider the introduction of a charge for the stay and play facilities in the afternoon and to scrap the targeted services currently available to eligible families.
 
Sadiq Khan said: “The Garratt Park Centre provides a vital free service to the families on the Henry Prince Estate, where I grew up. If they remove this support, the Council would effectively be obliging parents to pay for a service they currently receive for free or travel some distance, with young children, to find an alternative. To make matters worse, the alternatives, at Smallwood School or West Hill, are already oversubscribed.”

Earlsfield Councillor Rachael Stokes, a regular user of the Garratt Park Centre, said: “I am worried by these proposals which I fear could convert the current Centre into another private nursery for richer parents, rather than the wonderful, community-wide resource it needs to be. Although I use the centre regularly, I was not told about the consultation and nor were several other parents of babies I have spoken to”.
 
Sadiq Khan said: “The consultation has been sub-standard and misleading as it hasn’t included many of the users and it does not fully explain what the new arrangements would cost parents. I would urge residents to have their say by responding to the consultation with any concerns they have”.

The consultation is available here and will end on 24 May.

This post also appears on the Labour in Wandsworth blog

 

Children’s Centre changes could mean the end of free services for Earlsfield’s parents

Wandsworth Council is currently consulting residents on their plans to “de-designate” the Garratt Park Children’s Centre in Earlsfield. Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, said: “We know how important free early years...

News below on: Dr Johnson Avenue proposed trial closure, 20mph speed limit consultation, housing waiting list issue, Neighbourhood Network Wednesdays.

Update on Dr Johnson Avenue Proposed Trial Closure

The consultation closed on Friday 15th April and by two days before this I was informed that there had been 2,500 responses. The officer in charge of the consolation has told me that these will be assessed and a paper will be written for the Community Services Oversight Committee meeting on June 7th at 7.30pm. The agenda with the papers normally come out one week in advance and so we can expect the paper and recommendations to be published on 1st June. 

20mph Cross Borough Speed Limit
20mph limits are proven to make roads safer
There is a consultation on this happening as well. Although we have been successful in getting a 20mph speed limit in our ward, we felt that it was really confusing to have a patchwork or roads around us some of which are 20mph and some of which are 30mph. It doesn’t help to change driver’s behaviour or enable police to enforce these. So please take a minute to increase the response to the consultation by going here: click here to go to the Wandsworth consultation.
Housing issues
Rosena and I support many people with all sorts of housing issues – do get in contact with us if you have a housing issue we can raise on your behalf and support you with. This month a local lady reached the top of the housing list after waiting 8 years, but had some real housing difficulties and needed to ask the Council for emergency temporary accommodation. Then she was told that if she does this, she will no longer be on he housing list. I am sure and hope that this must have been a mistake, but is very distressing indeed for the lady concerned – who now needs the housing place more than ever, not less. I hope that this will be sorted out and I will report back.
Children Services Changes – including to the Triangle and Balham Nursery
A lot of changes are currently about to be made to Early Years Provision across the Borough, and following the closure of the wonderful One O’Clock Clubs three years ago, we’re very worried.
We have a lot  of questions that we are asking Council officers about what the changes will actually mean, and we are committed to campaigning for universal, local stay and play services. If you are interested in finding out more, please email us: fanderson@wandswoth.gov.uk, rallin-khan@wandsworth.gov.uk

Monthly Drop In Surgery

We have a monthly Bedford ward surgery on the third Saturday of every month upstairs in Balham library – do drop in between 10am and 11am. We’ll be there on Saturday 16th April.

This post also appears on the Labour in Bec and Balham blog

April 2016 Update in Bedford Ward

News below on: Dr Johnson Avenue proposed trial closure, 20mph speed limit consultation, housing waiting list issue, Neighbourhood Network Wednesdays. Update on Dr Johnson Avenue Proposed Trial Closure The consultation...

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120 residents came to a public meeting in Balham this week to discuss Wandsworth Council’s proposal to close Dr Johnson Avenue, which cuts across Tooting Common, and limit access to nearby Elmbourne Road.

A straw poll at the meeting on March 22 showed almost unanimous opposition to the proposal, which Wandsworth council is currently consulting on.

Residents at the meeting were strongly critical of the council’s consultation which has not involved residents in Lambeth who fear they will be impacted by the proposed road changes.

Modelling provided by Wandsworth council shows that residents in Garrad’s Road, on the Lambeth edge of the Common, will see a 30% increase in rush hour traffic if the proposal goes ahead. Residents also questioned why the consultation offered no options. One resident described it as “fundamentally flawed and inadequate” with another stating it would be “morally questionable to proceed” on the consultation’s findings.

Wandsworth residents also complained that they hadn’t been consulted about the plans that will potentially increase traffic and pollution on their roads, with residents of Heritage Park, Marius Road, Avoca Road, Montana Road and Nightingale ward particularly vocal in their disappointment.

The meeting was organised by local Labour councillors. Fleur Anderson, Labour councillor for Bedford ward said: “Residents clearly felt their voices were not being heard. Many wrote to me to say they hadn’t been consulted while others felt the consultation process was flawed. I have never seen so many residents attend a public meeting which shows the strength of local feeling. We will make sure the Council receives a full report of the evening and we feel it is right that this should be included as part of the consultation”.

She added: “the proposals are just not workable. The displacement of traffic would be too great, the impact on pollution levels too severe. It is a shame that the proposals haven’t been better thought through, as the idea, in principle, of uniting the common is one that I initially supported.

“However, this proposal is a pig’s ear. There are no plans for dealing with the traffic, no investigation of options, no consideration of surrounding roads and residents have not been properly consulted. It’s a missed opportunity and we will be opposing the proposal.”

According to the traffic modelling provided by Wandsworth, the proposal would result in a 40% increase in Northbound traffic on Mantilla Rd in the evening rush hour and a 65% in the evening for Southbound traffic in Elmbourne Road.

One resident said: “I live in Heritage Park. If these proposals were in place already, I would have had to have come to this meeting tonight via Lambeth!”.

Residents also raised concerns about knock-on effects of the displacement of traffic, including on safety and the pollution levels of surrounding residential roads.

There was a general sense that no one understood what the proposal intended to achieve with one resident commenting: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Support for the proposal was expressed by two residents. They said traffic would be reduced as a result of the proposals which, they argued, would encourage walking and cycling and would be beneficial for the climate and for wildlife.

Several local councillors, from both parties, attended the meeting, including Conservatives Antonia Dunn, Richard Field, Ian Hart and Angela Graham and Labour’s Candida Jones, Mark Thomas, Leonie Cooper, Fleur Anderson, Rosena Allin-Khan, Simon Hogg and Andy Gibbons.

This post also appears on the Labour in Wandsworth blog

Residents oppose “pig’s ear” Tooting Common road closure proposal

120 residents came to a public meeting in Balham this week to discuss Wandsworth Council’s proposal to close Dr Johnson Avenue, which cuts across Tooting Common, and limit access to...

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